HONOLULU (KHON2) — It is that time once again, King Kamehameha Day here — a very special holiday in Hawai’i. 

It kicked off Friday, June 9 with the lei draping event which will then lead into the floral parade happening on Saturday, June 10.

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But to find out more about the history of this holiday, KHON2.com met with King Kamehameha Celebration Commission Chair, Kainoa Daines. 

“This holiday is the only holiday that we continue to celebrate from the time of the monarchy,” said Daines.

“This holiday was designated by King Kamehameha V to honor his grandfather, King Kamehameha the Great, and it is a state holiday where we drape the statue, we have parades across the state. It’s a time for all of us to come together to remember the father of our Hawaiian Kingdom.”

Kainoa Daines, King Kamehameha Celebration Commission Chair

According to the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission, The first holiday was celebrated on June 11, 1872, and this year marks the 151st anniversary. 

“The parade here in Honolulu is the 106th annual so it has been going on since the early 1900s,” said Daines.

KHON2.com asked what people can expect from the parade.

“So, in addition to the marching bands, the decorated floats, the decorated vehicles, pāʻū,” said Daines. “The art of paniolo dressed with the women in their finest. Pāʻū is truly what makes a Hawaiian parade Hawaiian.”

To find out about the significance of us continuing to celebrate the holiday, KHON2.com met with Gov. Josh Green. 

From your perspective, why is it important that we continue to celebrate this and that you are here today for this celebration?

“Well, the king represents unity of the Hawaiian Islands,” said Gov. Green.

“He represents something that we can respect as far as culture, and it really brings people together. Again, over all these years, now 151 years, tradition is important,” Gov. Green further explained. “So, we are respecting our culture, we are respecting the unity that our islands prepare us to believe in.”

In general, the fact that we continue to perpetuate Hawaiian culture in many different facets, for you, why is that important that we don’t lose that sense of importance for who we are and where we come from?

“Well, in many ways, it brings the islands together,” said Gov. Green.

“Now, I have watched this ceremony from the Big Island for all these years because I was a Big Island guy up in Kohala and it is an extraordinary thing to watch the parade and, of course, the lei on the Kamehameha statue in Kohala. Really, one of his origin bases. That kind of cultural recognition is important because the islands are one. Hawai’i is one. One ‘ohana.”

The floral parade is happening tomorrow starting at 9 a.m. in front of ‘Iolani Palace which will then lead all the way to Kapi’olani Park culminating in a ho’olaule’a

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So, for all the information, again not just here on O’ahu but across the state and the pae ‘āina, click here.